Old Growth


Today, I aimed to run 5 miles.  I don’t think I quite made it.

My cantankerous breakfast, undigested, kept causing my side to ache.  First the right side, then the left side ached.  Then a pain surfaced right under my solar plexus.  It made the whole experience very un-fun.  Add to that that no matter what direction I turned, it felt like I was running into the scouring, blustery wind.  Every surface seemed uphill.

And yet…

The sun shone.  Clouds, pushed by the cold wind, shuttled around in the sky restlessly.  The air was sweet with the scent of cherry and apple blossoms.  Rhododendrons and azaleas bobbed in the breeze.  It felt like recess, especially since the forecast for today called for rain.

Instead of getting upset about the circumstances, I decided to enjoy them.  I turned up the music.  I walked when breath deserted me because of the stabbing pain.  I didn’t let it get me down.  I smiled at people as we passed each other.  I listened to my favorite songs over and over.  I even played air drums.  Don’t laugh!  You know you’ve done it.

I considered the cedars planted in front of Zac’s old school as I ran past it on the way home. Right now, the young ‘uns are around 15’ tall.  Their frond-like branches swayed in the gusts. They’re probably 20 years old.  Someday, they will be an impressive fortress around the school grounds, offering shade and shelter.  Their roots will go down deep, under the parking lot and under the street.  Give them time, light and enough rain (not a problem!) and these silent guardians will dominate the landscape.

Sometimes we need to give ourselves and others time and space to grow. Cedars don’t soar to 80 feet  tall in a day. My running needs some work, and so does my life.  I have learned much in my time here on earth, but I have more to go.  There is time. It’s not how you start, but how you finish.  With God’s grace, I will make it.  And so will you.


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